Rand Paul, the senator from Kentucky who is up in arms about the possibility of drone strikes on American soil against Americans, took to the Senate floor in order to try to block the nomination of John Brennan as CIA Director. Paul spoke and spoke and spoke. With the help of senators from both parties, Paul’s filibuster lasted nearly thirteen hours, and hopefully sent a message to Attorney General Eric Holder and the entire Obama administration.
Why was Rand Paul so fired up? As was reported by GOPUSA on Wednesday, when asked about drone strikes in a letter from Paul, Holder replied by saying, “It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the president to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.”
Paul had sent a letter to President Barack Obama’s CIA director nominee, John Brennan, asking for the administration’s views on the president’s “power to authorize lethal force, such as a drone strike, against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, and without trial.”
Paul had threatened to block Brennan’s confirmation until he got an answer to his question.
Holder responded in a letter Monday that Paul made public Tuesday.
Holder’s response is what set the filibuster action into motion. Paul responded to Holder’s comments by saying that Holder’s “refusal to rule out the possibility of drone strikes on American citizens and on American soil is more than frightening — it is an affront [to] the constitutional due process rights of all Americans.”
The Washington Post notes that Paul’s filibuster lasted longer than almost all modern-day filibusters. The record is held by the late Sen. Strom Thurmond at over 24 hours.
Just listen to Holder’s reply when asked about drone strikes on American citizens:
Holder says the Obama administration has “no intention” to strike Americans, but he does NOT answer Sen. Leahy’s question directly.
So what did the White House have to say about Rand Paul’s position and filibuster? Absolutely nothing. And Obama personally did not comment, but why would he? As Rand Paul stood up for the Constitution and all Americans, Obama was out schmoozing with twelve REPUBLICAN senators.
Why were these guys out rubbing elbows with Obama? They should have been back at the Capitol supporting their colleague. This is what is sorely missing in Washington: real leadership!
It should be noted that Sens. Toomey and Johnson came back to the Senate floor after the dinner with Obama. As reported by Weasel Zippers, here are some other senators who stood for what is right and helped Rand Paul: Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Barrasso (R-Wy.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). Democrat Sen Ron Wyden from Oregon also aided Paul, but stated that he fully intends to support the Brennan nomination.